Two Favorite Stories — From My Heart
One of my favorite stories is one I heard about the Dalai Lama (I think I first heard it in a movie called 10 questions for the Dalai Lama).
This story offers so much richness of awareness and insight for me – perhaps it will for you as well.
Here’s how I tell the story:
A woman who was well known for her excellent cakes baked a cake for the Dalai Lama.
She served him a piece and he ate it.
Then she asked him: “Did you like it?”
And he answered: “No.”
She was very upset.
I love this story for so many reasons:
First, it is a story of self love.
On the one hand, the woman who made the cake is looking for external validation (and love). She finds none and is upset.
On the other hand, the Dalai Lama speaks his truth (self love). He does not modify the truth to accommodate the other.
In doing so he honors himself (and the other) deeply.
Second it is a story that challenges a common myth in the spiritual space – that we must be “nice” (aka fake) all the time to be spiritual.
Who would argue the Dalai Lama is a mean or uncaring person?
Yet this caring, loving, spiritual man speaks his truth to the cake maker, and it’s not happy news from her perspective.
Note that he did not volunteer his feedback – sharing it only when it was asked of him.
It’s easy to get into the space where everything is good – and we’re faking our way through life hoping the projection becomes reality.
In the meantime, we are suppressing our true experience of what is real, effectively compounding the impact of our unhappiness.
I know a thing or two about faking it.
For years I pretended to be happy. Pretended that the all the trappings of my career and life were wonderful and ideal, meanwhile inside I was very unhappy.
This tension ultimately became untenable.
What was the turning point? Learning about and exploring my spiritual gifts while at the same time trying to sustain the projection of a happy and successful mortgage lender (my prior career).
Once I began having profound, deep experiences of what I had long yearned for (the experience of being a child of God – of knowing the Peace of God) I could no longer sustain the fiction.
And I’ve been exploring my authentic voice since then.
In joy, and with tears, heart break and anguish, and with lots of laughter.
I think about this story frequently as a reminder for me to be real and speak my truth. No matter how others around me may feel when confronted with my sometimes (many times, LOL!) contrary truth.
Another favorite story of mine was told to me by my good friend Tim in the fall of 2008.
I remember the story as focused on a central character faced with two sides of a great conflict (between good and evil). God as Ram comes to him and offers his support as a guarantee that whichever side he chooses in this great conflict will win. In that moment he realizes he has brothers on both sides – there is only light – no good and evil.
I emailed Tim recently to ask him about the story so I could share it accurately.
Here’s what he said:
“The story you’re remembering is from the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of the Lord) which is itself excerpted from a much bigger work, the Mahabharata (Great India). The translation I’m familiar with – no surprise here – is by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, but there are many others. The central point in the Gita – to me, anyway – is when Arjuna (the supreme warrior) is paralyzed into inaction by his belief that there is no righteous action possible for him – allying with either side of the impending conflict would have him killing friends and family. Krishna (the incarnation of God, and Arjuna’s charioteer – Ram is also an incarnation of God, so your recollection was right in principle!) directs Arjuna to transcend the illusion and directly know that there is no death, no right, no wrong – and this transcendence frees Arjuna to do his spiritual duty.
That’s the Cliff Notes version of what many believe to be the highest expression of Hindu thought!! (And I’m probably forgetting something critical, or adding things entirely of my own invention to support my latest edition of rationalization!!!) It’s really a great story; I hope you’re able to track down a readable translation. There’s a line I’m always reminded of when I consider the experience you are sharing in your work: “Even a little of this dharma (experiencing the Divine) delivers one from great fear.” Chapter 2, verse 40. That’s a good thing to share!”
Sharing this story with you and trying to explain how meaningful this is for me is moving me to tears.
First, there is Tim – who walked closely with me as I was uncovering my gifts – who helped me explore ideas and helped me understand what was happening when I “plugged in” and began sharing this gift with others. The love and gratitude I feel for Tim is difficult to communicate with words.
Next, there is the profound awareness that we are all the same. Further that everything is Divine. That nothing has “fallen away from God.” There is no good and evil. Only the Divine in many expressions (this continues to challenge me).
I find it easy to slip into the illusion of separation and see my brothers and sisters and separate from me – especially when they’re engaged in behaviors that I don’t understand or agree with.
Easy to see the leader of this country or that, engaged in killing his citizens – or making belligerent statements against this group or that … as evil.
Yet this story reminds me to speak my truth.
Each of my brothers and sisters on the planet – all those that I share the breath with today, or whose breath from before I share, or whose breath one day will mingle with mine though I may have long ago dropped my body – are all undistorted expressions and extensions of the nameless one; not one among us is more or less deserving or worthy of the Divine love that is at our most essential level who we all are. Indeed, not only are we all expressions of the Divine, we are all expressions and extensions of each other.
This is my truth, even though many days I am challenged by it. Embodying this truth – this consciousness – is an ongoing practice.
Whether you are challenged or inspired by what I have shared with you, I invite you to set aside the noise and tune into what is real, right now.
To find at your core, your center, your essence, the Divine, the nameless one; a fountain of love pouring forth from within you without beginning or end – not just for the individuated you, but also for the collective you.
For everyone and everything above, upon, and within the planet. Indeed, for everyone and everything in the cosmos.
Breathing in, feel this connection, and know that this feeling of calm of peace of joy is real. And as astonishing as this wave of resonance is, standing in awe of the actual direct experience of your true nature is something beyond words for its beauty and wonder. For your beauty, for the wonder of who you really are …
And as it is within you, so it is within every one of your brothers and sisters around the world (siblings by breath if nothing else).
Know the truth of this … then feel it.
Then go out and greet each person you encounter as extension of you, with the same love and gratitude you feel for that fountain of Divine energy that erupts from deep within you. For whether they know or have experienced the love that you feel inside is not important in that moment. Witnessing and seeing them for who they truly are will transform them as much as it will you.
That’s it for this week … From My Heart.
With Love and Peace,
The Soul Archaeologist
Experience the Divine Within